(Warning: Contains Battlestar Galactica spoilers)
I've been thinking about narrative conflicts lately, what with the whole 'power shifting' thing - and especially with the latest ventures of one of my favorite TV shows, Battlestar Galactica, which is currently trying to give a 'Mein Kampf' feel to Gaius Baltar's position within the ship's politics and all.
And I was thinking about narrative conflict. Two sides, A and B, whether they be a single person each, or a whole party - army or otherwise - against another, both of which have conflicting views on a subject which concerns them both. And there really can't be a modern narrative of any kind without any sort of conflict, we all know that I suppose.
But what I actually realized, based, again, on the whole Hitleresque/misunderstood hero portrayal of Dr. Baltar, which gave some credible arguments to his side of the debate (the 'am I the worst man alive or not' debate, that is), is that - since, as I have advocated, there are always two sides to any given point - every villain can be a hero. 'Turning that frown upside down' is an easy thing to do on any given subject if need be, and narrative oppositions are always stronger, methinks, if each side has a valid point of view on the disputed matter but you, as a viewer, are forced to choose a side.
And in this debate, the Gaius debate, it seems like the only thing that's keeping us on the side-which-is-not-his is the fact that he used to be the straight-cut villain in the old series on which this one was 'loosely based'. A series which was as clear of narrative moral debates as, it seems, was typical of TV series coming out at a time like that, in the days when 'men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri', and for some reason that was considered a good thing. But it is such debates that make me 'enjoy' a story, struggles and conflicts that make me wonder about the nature of the world around me and about the human mind and society, that make me think and hence feel, well, a little bit smarter.
So, give me my plot-lines convoluted, please-thankyou. Apparently, it's what gives me the kind of adrenaline rush that only an overdose of shades of gray can.